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Xbox One Will Play Media from USB Devices, DLNA Servers

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the revolution-will-not-be-streamed dept.

Media 112

New submitter Mauro sends word that Microsoft has announced upcoming Xbox One support for streaming media both from attached USB devices, such as flash drives, and DLNA media servers. Compatibility with a broad list of media formats will be added by the end of the year, including .MKV files. They also followed up last week's announcement of a digital TV tuner with an interesting twist: it will be able to stream broadcasts over a local network to devices running the Smartglass app, which is available on Windows, Android, and iOS.

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Really, does microsoft allow general computation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659649)

OMG! Computers that can do arbitrary things!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Really, does microsoft allow general computatio (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659725)

Even my Windows ME box can do these things. No joke.

Re:Really, does microsoft allow general computatio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47661585)

Fellow AC, how dare you mention ME in our presence! You deserve to be smacked just because you run that shite!

Customary not to allow general computation (2)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47662127)

On video game consoles, it is the custom not to "allow general computation". The console maker uses cryptographic means to block the execution of unapproved computer programs for two reasons: to ensure to console buyers a baseline level quality across all software published on the platform, and to ensure a royalty to the console maker. A lot of people are willing to pay for the convenience [pineight.com] of being able to choose software without having to worry about extremely low quality.

dsf (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659665)

Pirate media support: Why i bought an XB:OG in the first place, why I meh'd out on 360/PS3, and why I might just grab an XBO. Now just let me run linux on it!!!!!

Re:dsf (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47659677)

give it a few weeks, someone will figure how to boot off the usb

Re:dsf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659699)

autorun-xbax.inf

Re:dsf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660005)

"Pirate media support... just let me run linux on it!!!!!"

You can buy a Beaglebone, Raspberry Pi, or used PC for much less to support your ill-gotten gains. In fact, since you're taking content, why don't you set a challenge for yourself, and steal the hardware to go with it! Free, as in beer!

I love competition. (2)

canowhoopass.com (197454) | about 4 months ago | (#47659675)

PS3 had this support, but it was dropped in PS4. I hope this move will prompt Sony to re-add support.

Re:I love competition. (2)

Lije Baley (88936) | about 4 months ago | (#47659707)

This sounds better than the PS3, and I second your hope that it spurs Sony to expand beyond their gaming focus on PS4. I fear, however that neither will ever turn out to be the HTPC we've been dreaming of for the last 10 years.

Re:I love competition. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659821)

If Sony ever adds it back for PS4, it'll still have the Cinavia audio fingerprinting the PS3 has that cuts off the audio 15-20 minutes in to movies.

Re:I love competition. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 4 months ago | (#47661081)

Apparently, if you hit that problem, you can work around it by putting the system date/time forwards a day (and then get another 20 minutes with sound). Alternatively, the DVD rips don't usually hace Cinavia, just the Blu-Ray rips.

Re:I love competition. (2)

GuB-42 (2483988) | about 4 months ago | (#47661777)

I thought that the 15-20 minute delay is simply because the cinavia signal is really low bandwidth (0.2bps according to wikipedia). As a result it takes a long time to check the key.

Re:I love competition. (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 4 months ago | (#47661853)

You may well be right. I know with cinavia infected films, you can't just go to the 20 minute position to check to see if it works or not - you actually have to play the film for 20 minutes for the error message to appear.

Re:I love competition. (1)

kuzb (724081) | about 4 months ago | (#47663481)

So you're going to change the system clock 5 - 10 times per movie? Yeah, I'd probably just use a different device.

Re:I love competition. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 4 months ago | (#47663709)

I usually just try to find a version without Cinavia (smaller DVD rips) myself.

Re:I love competition. (2)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 4 months ago | (#47659899)

That you've been dreaming of for the last ten years. I personally want my console to play games very well, not do lots of media stuff OK. I have a PC for a reason.

You're not the only use case (2)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 4 months ago | (#47660015)

That you've been dreaming of for the last ten years. I personally want my console to play games very well, not do lots of media stuff OK. I have a PC for a reason.

Just because you don't have use for these features doesn't mean they're not useful to a lot of people. My PC is in my office, with a normal monitor, while my television and consoles are in a larger room with couches, suitable for family viewing. Playing a digital collection to this screen either requires me to hook up a laptop every time or have some device that can do the job. If a console (or the TV itself) can do it without me having to go out and buy or build a special purpose streaming device, all the better. I'm sure this scenario describes a lot of people.

Re: You're not the only use case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660177)

Encoding chips seem to be getting more popular. It might be possible to buy a GPU and stream your desktop to an Android STB.

Re: You're not the only use case (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660243)

... and so you're burning 600 watts in your desktop computer just to send it to your 50 watt STB?

The entire point of DLNA is to leverage the hardware decoding in the decoding end (PS3/4/ Xbox/360/one/GoogleTV/etc)

You don't want that desktop to also be going full throttle while it transcodes, that wastes energy. Youtube transcodes on the fly because it has higher quality video stored, and doesn't need 10 copies stored when the master copy is always available to transcode from. In a home, it's unlikely you are storing BD copies on your desktop, and your home network has enough bandwidth (50mbps) to play that back without transcoding. If you need to transcode just to play back on an Android device, than that Android device is a piece of crap.

And now to use an example from reality. My parents computer is in the room next door, instead of plugging the 40" TV into the computer and playing the video straight off that, they let the GoogleTV use a DLNA link to play the video... but the LG TV uses such a weak Android part, that it can't stream it. So what do they do instead? Copy it to a USB drive and play it straight off the TV, where it bypasses the DLNA system altogether.

Going back to my point (beside android being crap) that being able to play from these devices is a convenience function. The TV might already have this support, but nobody knows how to use it, or it's a pain in the ass to convert all the videos into something the TV can play. The GoogleTV (LG model) and the LG blueray player specify in the manual the maximum it can playback, so I created a FFMPEG batch file that transcodes anything dropped onto it into it. Lo and behold, most of the time all it's doing is converting the mp3-audio back into AC3 or AAC

Re: You're not the only use case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660507)

Or these devices can be setup to read samba shares and just transfer the raw data and use the onboard codec to playback the file. DLNA is a huge pain in the ass.

Re: You're not the only use case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660541)

That is... if we were trying to help the consumer. Instead we're given an appeasement "fix" instead of a full featured solution.

Re: You're not the only use case (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47662179)

In a home, it's unlikely you are storing BD copies on your desktop, and your home network has enough bandwidth (50mbps) to play that back without transcoding.

Only if it's 802.11n or faster or you have permission from the landlord to pull Cat6 through the walls. That permission isn't easy to get in some jurisdictions. For use with TV, I'd recommend what you're doing: a one-time transcode to lower-bitrate H.264.

Re:You're not the only use case (2)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 4 months ago | (#47660903)

Most newer TVs and BD devices have DLNA support (amongst other things). Heck, the one my dad got (Panasonic) allows to browse shared folders.

About 8 years ago I went out of my way to silence the HTPC in the living room with undervolted and underclocked CPU, 80mm fan running on 7v for the CPU, ATItools to reduce the GPU fan speed (and GPU speed itself), I even padded the case to reduce noise and vibrations. I even had to lock the DVD drives to lower speeds because they were sounding like they would take off.

A PC is way too noisy for a living room for my taste, so yes XB one streaming is welcome, let's hope it forces SONY to allow it on PS4

Re:You're not the only use case (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47661041)

Xbox + Playstation in a ventilated cupboard in the hallway, HDBaseT used to connect to the TV - perfectly silent.
(Except in the hallway - when everything is one, hallway is pretty noisy)

Put the PC back in HTPC (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47662153)

That's because the HTPC we've been dreaming about is just that: a PC. Just find a small, quiet PC, plug its video out into your television's video in, and put a wireless keyboard and trackpad on your lap or smartphone-based remote control in your hand. Now that integrated graphics have surpassed the GPUs of the previous console generation (since roughly Ivy Bridge), you can even game on it if you put a keyboard and mouse on a TV tray or you play games listed on the first of several Google Search results [pccouchcoop.com] for pc couch multiplayer. Hairyfeet, can you chime in?

Android (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 months ago | (#47670697)

Rather than a traditional PC, it's probably a small box running Android. Some of the newer ones are pretty spiffy, and support apps for XBMC, Netflix, Hulu, and all the other goodies.

The biggest thing that seems to be missing from Android devices: disc-based playback. I've yet to see one that will play any optical discs, let alone Blu-Ray. This doesn't make much sense to me as many blu-ray players already come with Netflix apps etc on some proprietary crappy/buggy UI (I need to pull the plug on mine periodically when Netflix stops working). It would sure be nice to have everything in one box.

There are some devices which purport to have "full blu-ray menu support" using Android, but when I investigated further they only support rips and lack an optical drive :-(

Re:I love competition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47663777)

I have the HTPC we've been dreaming of for the past 10 years. I built it. It's remarkably easy for anyone with a minimum of technical knowledge/ability.

Re:I love competition. (2)

soren42 (700305) | about 4 months ago | (#47660153)

Technically, I believe PS4 simply hasn't added these features to it's OS yet. Many features of the PS3's XMB still aren't supported on the PS4 or on the Vita yet. In fact, the Vita even emulates the XMB to provide access to many of these features.

Re:I love competition. (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#47660517)

Yes, Sony will re-add it back.

It's why even though the PS4 is technically better, the Xbone is still a contender. And it has to be, given the third entrant is a no-show this round.

Yes, laugh all you want about resolutiongate (oh wait, did you just dismiss that Killzone 1080p lawsuit? I thought PS4 was better because it could push 1080p vs. whatever the guys could do on Xbone).

And yes, the Xbone is a weaker system - but it doesn't matter, because the PS3 was a weaker system for most developers at launch too (half the system RAM since the other was dedicated graphics, if you didn't use the SPUs, you had two two-thread PowerPC cores vs. three two-thread PowerPC cores), etc. And it sold poorly the first few years. But after that, the PS3 was a decent contender to everyone else and it was pointless to joke about it.

Xbone is in the same position versus the PS4, and yet everyone is writing it off that Sony would dominate. Yes, Microsoft is stupid and arrogant (just like Sony was with the PS3), but they'll learn.

And both PS4 and Xbone are horrendously immature - if you take them now versus launch day, they are tons better, but there's still a shit-ton of work to do.

And what's making both better? Competition - you notice how PS4 and Xbone are now basically adding features the other had? Xbone gets Blu-Ray 3D in August, PS4 goes and gets it a week earlier.

Likewise, media support will be coming. And Xbone has external USB drive support for save games - PS4 will probably get that soon too (that was actually a launch feature to make up for the fact the Xbone's hard drive isn't easily removable - the external USB is a full featured citizen storage unlike the Xbox360's where there are differences between attached hard drive storage and USB).

Hell, perhaps we can kick their asses to do something fun with Kinect and the Playstation camera (which on launch day added rudimentary voice control to compete with Kinect - huh.).

Both Microsoft and Sony going after each other is good. Believing the PS4 will win may be true (like the Xbox360 won), but writing Microsoft off simply makes everything worse for us. It's the only way to keep Microsoft AND Sony from doing what Microsoft wanted to do with the Xbone in the first place.

DTCP-IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660705)

Actually the PS3 did one better, and not only support DLNA, but supported DTCP-IP (essentially DLNA with DRM), which is required in order to play back some DRM protected content, especially in the US cable market. And while I would prefer that the content provides reduce the restrictions, the next best thing would be that the PS4 (and the XBO) will implement not only DLNA, but DTCP-IP.

Most Tv's can already do that by themselves (1)

cynop (2023642) | about 4 months ago | (#47659705)

That's a nice idea, but even tv's that cost less than 200£ can play mkv's and mp3's from a USB stick. My Samsung tv can stream straight from any PC in the same LAN [As long as a certain samsung app is installed in that pc].

Re:Most Tv's can already do that by themselves (5, Informative)

VTBlue (600055) | about 4 months ago | (#47659727)

That's a nice idea, but even tv's that cost less than 200£ can play mkv's and mp3's from a USB stick. My Samsung tv can stream straight from any PC in the same LAN [As long as a certain samsung app is installed in that pc].

I use Plex server (free) on my laptop which then is discoverable as a DLNA server on my Panasonic smart tv. Works great even with mkv files! The only downside is that non-HD files don't render as cleanly as when viewing on PC.

Re:Most Tv's can already do that by themselves (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47660049)

The only downside is that non-HD files don't render as cleanly as when viewing on PC.

Use PS3MediaServer and if you have enough CPU time to burn, you'll get a nice clean transcode.

Re:Most Tv's can already do that by themselves (2)

Anaerin (905998) | about 4 months ago | (#47659745)

It doesn't have to be a Samsung app (Which, by the way, is kinda awful). DLNA means it can be any DLNA server, like Serviio (for instance) that also happens to have the wonderful feature that it will auto-transcode into a suitable format if your TV/Console/Whatever doesn't support it. Which means the PS3 and X360 (Also supported by Serviio) can also get in on this party.

Re:Most Tv's can already do that by themselves (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | about 4 months ago | (#47659837)

Yeah, they can, sort of. My Samsung TV can do it without any Samsung application (just general DLNA), but it sucks ass at it compared to the PS3.. and it's remote is garbage.

Besides, it's means the TV has to be connected to the network and TV network security makes Sony network security look good, and how sad is that?

Re:Most Tv's can already do that by themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659953)

Why would you be worried about TV security flaws? Presumably you already have guests on an isolated AP that 99% of medium end routers support these days.

Nobody will be able to access your TV asides from yourself.

Re:Most Tv's can already do that by themselves (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | about 4 months ago | (#47660023)

Because they're horribly vulnerable to all kinds of ancient XSS and other vulnerabilities that mean outgoing connections from the TV aren't safe; not all hacking is described in WarGames (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/)

So can a $30 TV stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660135)

I'm surprised actually. DNLA is old, and being replaced by Google direct and similar systems that can stream direct from one Wifi device to another and render anything directly on the TV. So you don't expect a company to announce this as if its new, you sort of expect it to be supported.

Incidentally does it work? Because none of my DNLA renderers will play media from Windows 7, which supposedly has a DNLA server in it, yet all of them play perfectly from every Android tablet, and every phone and from my NAS which supports DNLA.

So I just don't trust MS to work nicely with other devices.

So can a $30 TV stick (1)

sensationull (889870) | about 4 months ago | (#47660579)

DLNA is better as it is less bandwidth and power hungry and does not require as much hardware at each end. I use the Windows 7 DLNA from my pc to my Samsung TV and my networked home theatre all the time just fine. It just won't play MKV through it. The Windows 8 one on the other hand sucks as they have yanked a bunch of the compatibility. Miracast does solve a problem of sending your actual screen contents but the two are not really the same thing, they can be used as the same thing but really one is for passing out media files where you can still use the device, the other is casting the screen to a bigger screen which can be handy but in many cases just means you should have been using a different device to start with.

What's DLNA anyway? (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#47659719)

Can my hospital detect DLNA in my blood to identify my blood?

Re:What's DLNA anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659751)

Only if you're windows.

Re:What's DLNA anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659919)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Living_Network_Alliance [wikipedia.org] :

...intereoperability guidelines are built upon existing public standards, but the guidelines themselves are private (available for a fee). These guidelines specify a set of restricted ways of using the standards to achieve interoperability and include almost no free audio formats and only the most common (free or otherwise) video formats...

Member companies

As of February 2014, there are 17 promoter members and 215 contributor members. The promoter members are:[11]

ACCESS, Arris, Awox,[12] Broadcom, CableLabs, Comcast, Dolby Laboratories, DTS, Intel, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, Sony Electronics, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon.

Comcast, Sony, Microsoft, Time Warner Cable, Verizon... EXCELLENT!

Cinavia? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659827)

Will the XB1 support Cinavia [wikipedia.org] , or not? This is likely to be a make-or-break thing - if Microsoft puts in a Cinavia detection algorithm, and there's no way to bypass it, I can see a great many people who might otherwise spring for an XB1 instead moving off to find another platform (homebrew running XBMC, most likely.)

I'm tipping that they won't make any explicit references to Cinavia, and just hope it flies under the radar - until somebody tries it and finds out, one way or the other. But even more fun: even if they don't have it at release, doesn't mean it won't be added in a subsequent firmware revision...

Re:Cinavia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660055)

Does the XBone have a BluRay player in it? That answers your question.

They'll lock it down later (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659841)

Once there are enough complaints from the entertainment companies they will lock it down.

Re:They'll lock it down later (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660041)

This is exactly what they did with the 360.

  Embrace, extend, extinguish.

Figures.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47659869)

Would it hurt the assholes at microsoft to actually support open source audio format such as Ogg Vorbis? Sheesh.

Re:Figures.... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47661111)

Yes, it would. People using Vorbis aren't using WMA. Microsoft has patents on WMA, and makes money from every device supporting it. So it's in their best interests not to promote Vorbis: It may not cost them directly, but it cuts into their profits from WMA.

Wow, flash drives? (0, Flamebait)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47659873)

for streaming media both from attached USB devices, such as flash drives

Are you telling me that Microsoft shipped the XBone without the ability to read USB drives?

That they're announcing support for 10+ year old media and we're supposed to be impressed? Something you can buy next to bubble gum in the express checkout at the Wal Mart? Wow, that's some innovating there.

The XBox 360 had memory cards, and it's not like Microsoft doesn't have access to the technology to do this trivially. As in so blindingly trivial they'd have had to take steps to not support it.

I view this announcement with the same incredulity as if Ford had just announced they were adding a horn to this year's car -- because I find it unbelievable that they didn't build this in right away.

Yeah, I'm sure glad I've got my XBox 360, the XBone continues to look like a turd. I'm really gonna have to buy a spare 360, my wife likes some of the Kinect games, and every single time Microsoft tells me about this thing, I want it less than before.

Way to go Microsoft, you implemented accessing an FAT file system over USB.

Except for the USB part, using Microsoft's own documentation I wrote code to directly read from a FAT filesystem 20 years ago.

Un-frickin-believable. What idiots were in charge of this product again?

Re:Wow, flash drives? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 months ago | (#47659965)

I'm pretty sure the Xbox 360 could read h.264 files from a USB thumb drive. I remember watching a movie off one at a friends house. It's been well over four years now. Is that no longer the case with the console since the last major firmware update for the unit?

Re:Wow, flash drives? (1)

sensationull (889870) | about 4 months ago | (#47660601)

It can read h.264 just not in the MKV container. MP4 is fine though just like it is when using DLNA push to the Xbox One. I do wish they would remove the Xbox watermark from every video it plays though, I know I own a freaking Xbox already.

Re:Wow, flash drives? (2)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47661279)

Sigh, what a pathetically ignorant post.

It's not as straightforward as just implementing the ability to read FAT, it's about making sure people can't just copy downloaded games onto a USB drive and make multiple copies and pirate games that trivially whilst making sure they can use USB storage for games if they want to take them to their friends. It's about making sure you can't trivially manipulate a game copied to a USB device to cheat and so on and so forth.

Like it not, the reason there is so much more investment in console games by publishers is because it gives them access to a platform that is much freer from piracy and cheating (yes it exists, but most people don't chip their consoles because it often prevents online access and gets your online profile banned etc. meaning it's far more costly for cheaters/pirates to engage in that meaning there's less of it overall - though that is changing with Steam taking over most of the PC gaming world).

Microsoft has to protect that, else it loses everything that separates the console world from the PC world. Whether you agree with DRM or you're an open source everything hippy it matters not, the point is fundamentally that there's far more that Microsoft has to consider than just implementing the ability to read/write from a USB drive so to just say "Oh all they need to do is implement support for FAT" is completely wrong and shows a painful lack of understanding about the console market.

You seem entirely oblivious to the fact the 360 was in the exact same situation - worse, the 360 even had it's own bespoke memory cards originally. Support for USB devices came far later on on the 360. They haven't removed anything because the X1 is a completely new system with a completely new architecture requiring completely new software, it's not a simple in-place upgrade of the 360.

Re:Wow, flash drives? (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47662537)

it's about making sure people can't just copy downloaded games onto a USB drive and make multiple copies and pirate games that trivially whilst making sure they can use USB storage for games

Right, so it's not a technology issue, and never was.

I'm so tired of technology being crippled in the name of copyright and DRM it's not funny -- the copyright lobby has more or less decided we can't do anything without their permission.

worse, the 360 even had it's own bespoke memory cards originally

I'm aware of that, and again, I've always assumed it was because of corporate greed.

At the end of the day, the Xbone is a very anti-consumer piece of technology, and I simply will not buy one.

I will buy a spare for my beloved 360 before that ever happens.

Microsoft can shove their DRM, copyright protection, and POS system up their collective asses.

Will they care even a little that I'm doing this? Absolutely not. Do I expect others likely are making the same choice? Definitely.

Re:Wow, flash drives? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47663491)

Well it depends what you class as a technology issue - I'd say that trying to make an application portable but not copyable is quite a technological challenge. That doesn't mean it's politically ideal but I can see why they're going down that route. This isn't really like PCs where companies try to bolt DRM onto an open architecture, this is about an architecture that is explicitly closed, being kept closed, because sometimes that's the intention - no one's pretending consoles are these great open devices, if you're staunchly anti-DRM then consoles never were and never will be for you but that doesn't mean there isn't a market for them and it doesn't change the fact that the market exists in part because of that DRM - there is a market for systems that are closed and fairly cheat free as a result.

"At the end of the day, the Xbone is a very anti-consumer piece of technology, and I simply will not buy one."

I'd argue it's actually less anti-consumer than some of the older consoles, certainly they've done away with things like online passes and shit this generation. I don't really understand why you have so much love for the 360, but so much hate for the X1 when the X1 is an all round improvement in terms of freedoms. The X1's DRM is actually a big improvement for the consumer on the 360s - cross profile content sharing works far better for example.

Microsoft made a lot of mistakes early on with the X1, but there was a complete reversal since the announcements and it's release (hell, you can even buy a Kinectless version now so all the NSA is spying on you through it nonsense is long dead), it's now a much more consumer friendly system than the 360 was and as consoles go, though consoles in general aren't exactly consumer friendly, so it's not exactly a high bar it has to surpass anyway.

Re:Wow, flash drives? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47664013)

I don't really understand why you have so much love for the 360, but so much hate for the X1

My XBox 360 hasn't been plugged into a network in several years, and the XBone isn't backwards compatible with my existing library of games.

Microsoft has sent so many mixed messages about this platform that I don't know what to believe about it any more.

I don't care about DLC, I don't care about on-line gaming, I don't care about multi-player, I don't care about pretty much anything they said was a "feature" of this new console. It brings zero value for me.

Re:Wow, flash drives? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47670661)

Sure, but my point is that by the time it's a year into it's lifecycle the X1 will have been patched with all the things it was lacking such that it can do everything the 360 did and then some, whilst being actually less of a pain in terms of DRM.

If all you use your 360 for is offline gaming and viewing media then the X1 will do all that too, so the only real thing that matters about it is whether it has any games you want, if not then there's really no big deal.

Personally I'm a bit of a console whore as I have a PS4 and a Wii U as well (on top of the 2x 360s and my Wii and PS3). I actually like all of them, probably less excited by the PS4's games line up right now - The Order just isn't my thing, and frankly despite the Wii U's deficiency of games the games it does have are actually excellent such that it's still got more excellent games - i.e. those deserving a review ranking of 95%+ than the PS4 and X1 combined even though the PS4 and X1 have more games overall. I've found actually owning the consoles that you get a completely different picture of them than that painted by fanboys and the press.

Why not off Samba shares? (2, Insightful)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 4 months ago | (#47660019)

Seriously, what is the major malfunction of device makers that basic, guest share Samba support is never put into these devices? Everyone has it, everyone comprehends it. Just let us access a damn SMB share as a list of files and play things.

No one anywhere, ever, cares about the clusterfuck that is DLNA.

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (2)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 4 months ago | (#47660249)

Seriously, what is the major malfunction of device makers that basic, guest share Samba support is never put into these devices? Everyone has it, everyone comprehends it. Just let us access a damn SMB share as a list of files and play things.

No one anywhere, ever, cares about the clusterfuck that is DLNA.

I care about DLNA. Does that mean I do not exist?

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (1)

sensationull (889870) | about 4 months ago | (#47660615)

I use DLNA daily, I guess we both don't exist.

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660709)

why the hell do you care? :)

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (2)

jhol13 (1087781) | about 4 months ago | (#47660863)

Exactly. I once tried to get DLNA working and ... succeeded. If was a nightmare. The player was broken (did tcp resets), the protocol was so diverse as to make two players require two servers, the player could not play even PCM (not to mention flac or even mp3 higher than 320kbps). Totally useless.

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47661103)

Interesting ....
I've used DLNA and UPnP for years, from a Nokia phone 10 years ago, a couple of radios over the years, to currently having it on an iPad, Android tablet, Jolla phone, XBox360, PS3, Samsung DVD player ...
Only the XBox360 has had protocol issues (They clearly prefer people using something windows).
Only the Android apps are having playback issues (ignoring poor video quality on the XBox360), which seems related to them insisting on punting the playback over to the built-in player.
Media format issues (like supporting flac) is outside the scope of DLNA, since it is the responsibility of the Media Render to support playback of formats. DLNA itself is perfectly capable of handling any audio/video/picture format, but if you chose to use a shite application, that's on you, not the DLNA specs.

Generally I've been pleased with it, it works well for me.

Note: I don't have SAMBA sharing enabled on anything at home, since I don't have anything running Windows. Guess I belong to a superset of "Everyone".

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47661249)

Frankly, I've found CIFS to be the easiest thing for Linux file sharing. Use an automounter and you're in heaven. NFS is probably *great* for netmounting one's home directory. However, wrangling user accounts and permissions for just a bunch of fucking file shares gave me no end of headaches.

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47664937)

In my case AFP has been the go-to solution for the last 5-6 years (or longer? ..)

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47665507)

DLNA itself is perfectly capable of handling any audio/video/picture format, but if you chose to use a shite application, that's on you, not the DLNA specs.

If an application supporting all major unpatented audio and video formats (and only unpatented formats) is "a shite application", then perhaps DLNA is a shite standard.

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47669443)

If the application (the Media Render) can play these as files, but not via DLNA, then it is a shite application - the source of the data should not matter.

Also, remember, there are 3 components in DLNA:
* Server
* Browser
* Render
The Browser and Render is usually the same, though in the case of XBox One it seems it will only be the render.
If the Browser or the Server doesn't understand the media you're trying to play ("render"), and fail to send correct MIME type to the player (or just refuse to send anything?), then THAT application is shite, and the player may be just fine. This is the 1 really weak spot in DLNA: You can have the best server, and a shite render, and the result is shite - you can also have a shite server and a great render, and the result is also...shite.
But, this doesn't mean DLNA itself is bad - the protocols are just fine from what I've seen (Though I've mostly looked at the underlying UPnP standard, as described in books from Intel), and what I've seen as the most-common issue are bad implementations, like the PS3.

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47669559)

Perhaps a PC media player application can play a particular video when acting as both server and render, but its server component can't transcode to a format that another company's render prefers because its codec patent license covers only a decoder, not an encoder. Does that by itself make a server shite? Or is the other company's render shite because the company refused to incorporate any royalty-free formats?

Re:Why not off Samba shares? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47661303)

Speak for yourself, I have 4 different DLNA enabled TVs, a DLNA enabled Bluray player, a 360, a PS3 as well as an iPad, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3, and a Nexus 7.

DLNA works fine with all of it, it's always been painless and effortless to get working. I guess if you had problems you must've been doing something very wrong or maybe using some shitty cheap devices that only bothered to implement half assed support as all I ever had to do was give Windows Media player access to the library, enable DLNA streaming and every other device/application then just worked with it. I've even used it on Windows 7 and Windows 8, so it's not like I've found problems with different OS'.

I care about DLNA because it's awesome and effortless - it literally just works without any effort with just about every common device that supports it.

PirateBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660299)

and this is better than a PirateBox [piratebox.cc] ?

my TV do that, why should I buy a XBOX 360 (3)

denisbergeron (197036) | about 4 months ago | (#47660377)

I have a no-smart-tv (LG) and it can read any USB drive (including HD)

Re:my TV do that, why should I buy a XBOX 360 (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 4 months ago | (#47661471)

I have a no-smart-tv (LG) and it can read any USB drive (including HD)

I think you are not understanding what a USB stick/drive is. Basically The most common USB connectors support USB 1, 2 and now USB 3 and normally have a type A (the most common) and type B (more boxy) connectors see here [wikipedia.org] . What is important to note is what type of file-system is actually on the device.

For USB devices that are 16Gb or less the most common file-system is FAT32, however over 16GB you may find NTFS, exFAT or even FAT32. If you are like me who has a Linux OS on my machines then you may find that I have changed the file-system on my USB device to ext3 or ext4 or any other of Linux file-systems that support journalling (I am aware NTFS supports journalling), of which there are quite a few. I would assume that most modern TV's that have a USB slot can read FAT32 and possibly exFAT or NTFS although less likely, however I would be surprised if that same TV could read other file-systems although many Linux file-systems are patent free.

Just use UDF (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47665527)

Why don't USB flash drives bigger than 32 GB just use the Universal Disk Format? Linux can read and write it, OS X can read and write it, Windows Vista and newer can read and write it, and it doesn't appear to have the same patent issues as exFAT.

Re:my TV do that, why should I buy a XBOX 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47662005)

One good reason: The article is about the XBox One... not the 360.

I read this article differently: (3, Interesting)

Jahoda (2715225) | about 4 months ago | (#47660421)

So, am I actually to understand that, in 2014, the Xbox One is not currently capable of playing standard media formats such as MKV and that to this point, a console owner has been unable to play media off a flash drive or DLNA?

Well done, MS. Keep fuckin' that chicken, guys.

Re:I read this article differently: (1)

GrandCow (229565) | about 4 months ago | (#47660511)

You realize that there is NO current gen console that can do that, right? This isn't an XBone exclusive.

I read this article differently: (1)

sensationull (889870) | about 4 months ago | (#47660627)

You can play most media formats over DLNA, you just need to push the file to the Xbox One that acts as a DMR, there is no pull interface on the device which is stupid. It can't play MKV, just like Windows Media player.

Re:I read this article differently: (1)

iampiti (1059688) | about 4 months ago | (#47660901)

Well in this day and age in which mobile OS's are severely crippled compared to PC ones and that is considered fine by the 99% of population it certainly doesn't surprise me that the new generation consoles are severely limited also.
On one hand I understand that for many regular folks their smartphone or tablet is now their main computing device, and for millions of people in less developed countries may be their first and only one. It makes sense then to make a OS easy to use and secure, but that doesn't mean it has to prevent us experienced computer users to do things like running software downloaded from arbitrary places or letting us manage our storage as we see fit.
iOS has always been a severely limited OS, Windows Phone it's a close cousin only with fewer applications, and Android, the one that was closest to a general purpose OS is being crippled by Google in the newer versions (e.g.: Removing the ability of writing to arbitrary locations on the EXTERNAL sd card in KitKat). A sad state of affairs :(

Re:I read this article differently: (2)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47661313)

It's not just MS, both MS and Sony decided to race unfinished products to market opting to finish them post-release. Microsoft currently seems to be ahead as it has DLNA support, 3D Bluray and so forth just about ready to go, whilst the PS4 still doesn't even do the most basic things, like play MP3s or audio CDs.

One important question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660539)

Will it play GAMES?

Re:One important question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47661635)

In Theory. Though, I have yet to see any games worth playing.

I wish my PS3 would play DLNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660569)

I own a PS3. Its supposed to play files via DLNA. I have a DLNA server on computer and also on a NAS box. Either will spool DLNA files to an LG media box. Any kind of file. The PS3 I have is a giant PITA though. This file isn't compatible, that file isn't compatible. Sometimes its just the extension of the file. Sometimes a file type that worked previously now no longer works. Its a crapshoot. The LG box plays anything. Its ok though. I'm not buying SONY anymore: after the GEOHOT incident, SONY gets no more of my money.

Re:I wish my PS3 would play DLNA (1)

DirePickle (796986) | about 4 months ago | (#47660961)

There are a few transcoding DLNA servers that make things much nicer (though far from perfect) on the PS3. The benchmark is PS3 Media Server. http://www.ps3mediaserver.org/ [ps3mediaserver.org] (it'll work with other clients, too, but it was designed for transcoding and streaming to the PS3).

Re:I wish my PS3 would play DLNA (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47664977)

PS3 supports DLNA "just fine" (there are a few stupidities and flaw in how it is implemented, though).

That there is a lack of support for specific file-formats (MKV and some types of MP4 most notably) has nothing to do with DLNA, and everything to do with Sony just not implementing any kind of support for those specific formats.

If you get the result that some files play sometimes, I suspect you have a "low end" NAS (Synology? ARM/MIPS processor?) and it is trying to transmux the files, but either failing this or failing to do it fast enough for the PS3's timeout.
Try PS3MediaServer on your computer; sorry, no suggestions for your NAS outside of TwonkyServer, which will normally not do any transcoding/transmuxing.

Re:I wish my PS3 would play DLNA (1)

kuzb (724081) | about 4 months ago | (#47667957)

You need plex, then all files will be compatible regardless of what they start as. Trying to do it any other way is truly painful.

A better option (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660661)

To me this is proof of how badly microsoft cripples their systems. It's newsworthy when their console does something every other pc can do. I own 2 original xboxes and an xbox 360 but I decided to not buy an xbox one because it's too locked down. My plan instead is to build a htpc probably based on the intel NUC that dual boots linux and windows and trial using logitech wireless gaming controllers for a more open platform that will allow me to play games (using steamos or big picture mode), play music, watch movies, stream tv (netflix etc...), buy or rent movies (itunes, google play), browse the net (with a mini bluetooth keyboard and trackpad) and do whatever I like without having to mod things. I think this is the future of consoles.

DLNA is crap (0)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 4 months ago | (#47660837)

Why DLNA, in this day and age? It's garbage, with a "lowest common denominator" approach to media files, with only 8.3 filenames and very few supported formats. It's like the companies got together to grudgingly agree a simple standard that would mean they didn't have to do any real work with each other, just a bare minimum that would just about allow interoperability and a minimum of effort to implement.

Re:DLNA is crap (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47661115)

I think the problems stem more from everyone involved trying to make sure that their patents would be required in some way.

Re:DLNA is crap (3, Informative)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47661181)

Why DLNA, in this day and age? It's garbage, with a "lowest common denominator" approach to media files, with only 8.3 filenames and very few supported formats. It's like the companies got together to grudgingly agree a simple standard that would mean they didn't have to do any real work with each other, just a bare minimum that would just about allow interoperability and a minimum of effort to implement.

Gotta ask for a source for "only 8.3 filenames" - nothing in the specs I've read states this, and I've never seen any DLNA software with such a limitation in the last decade.

And yes, there is a defined lower end for media support, but nothing keeps anyone from supporting additional formats. I've played 1080p h.264 video with surround-sound DTS in an MKV container using DLNA software, just as I've played .ogg files and various others ....

Anyways, why DLNA? Because it is nice and simple and does what people want? Well, perhaps not what YOU want, but you also seem to think it only supports 8.3 filenames for some quite-strange reason.

Re:DLNA is crap (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47661321)

"Why DLNA, in this day and age? It's garbage, with a "lowest common denominator" approach to media files, with only 8.3 filenames and very few supported formats."

What the fuck? have you created a DOS 5.0 DLNA server or something? What you describe isn't the reality of any DLNA server or client I've used including that bundled with Windows and the client bundled with even my cheapest TV.

Audio support (1)

TheSeeker11 (1061698) | about 4 months ago | (#47660929)

Supporting MKVs is great, but it better bloody support DTS within said MKV files.

Raspberry PI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47660987)

For the more technically inclined user, it's pretty easy to set up a Raspberry PI with the NOOBS software and install either OpenELEC or RaspBMC. What you get it a tiny box that can play almost anything you throw at it without transcoding (straight BluRay rips are a bit hit-or-miss though if your TV doesn't support audio pass-through), talks to your file server via almost any protocol imaginable (SMB, NFS, DLNA) and works with your TV remote over HDMI (CEC). The UI looks great even in the default configuration, too. Be sure to buy a good, stable power adapter.

Re:Raspberry PI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47664323)

Raspberry PI is a great option, but not for hi-def.

How has it come to this? (1)

mythix (2589549) | about 4 months ago | (#47661167)

We're going backwards, how is it possible that the 2 biggest living room power houses (xbox and PS4) cant even play media from a USB...

capitalism, jeeeeej

NTFS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47661959)

Will we actually see support for NTFS and filesystems other than FAT32?

Even the 360 and PS3 are more than capable of playing high quality HD media from external drives but the filesize limits of FAT32 make it unusable for all but short half hour clips, it's an unfunny joke really.

Re:NTFS? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47666145)

You could always split up your feature-length motion picture into a file per chapter. But I don't think NTFS is even publicly documented by Microsoft. I wouldn't be surprised if its internals use a bunch of concepts borrowed from VMS and OS/2.

Wow, including .MKV files! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47662277)

Like I have been able to do in my Linux boxes for a decade or so.

Nice but not what most people want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47662365)

These are nice little offerings, but let's face it. it's not these kind of little things that people really want or care about, these are not the things that are holding people back from getting a console this generation. We have Roku, ChromeCast, AppleTV, Etc... that all handle streaming and media and do so at a fraction of the power consumption, and cost.
The biggest thing holding people back in my opinion from an X1 or PS4 is backwards compatibility. Give the people a way to bring their existing investments in their existing game library to the new console and people will migrate. If X1 could play X360 games I'd have 2 X1's already, but right now I have no "new" console because I don't want a last gen and current gen console sitting there taking up space, and ports. Heck charge an extra $75.00 for a backwards compatible edition of the X1 and I'd still buy it up, and even buy some new games and accessories to go with the new console, seems like a fair deal to me.

It is annoying, but you still have to transcode (1)

netsavior (627338) | about 4 months ago | (#47662857)

DNLA sucks. I can run a DNLA server (plex or windows media, doesn't matter) on a pretty awesome box and it will still suck. Transcode beforehand to h264 aac MP4 and you can play it on lots more devices, and you don't run into problems on the server side with multiple clients like you do with DNLA... but you do have to set up a webserver of some kind (although NAS often comes with a simple http server nowadays, and my router can do it too)
As much as we all hate to admit it, home computers are STILL not really up to transcoding on the fly for multiple clients (or sometimes even single clients).

Plus if you just go ahead and transcode beforehand, you can play the file in a browser, (including xbone), ipad, android, Roku, an ancient PC or whatever.

about 10 years ago I was looking forward to a time when I didn't have to pre-transcode... and I assumed it was 10 years off... now I would guess we are about 10 years off from that point.

wow (1)

Empire4KingdomsHack (3785037) | about 4 months ago | (#47669905)

Is innovative !
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